Definition

Chorioamnionitis is an infection in the membranes and amniotic fluid that surround the fetus and protect it.

The baby is delivered right away to protect the mother and baby from harm.

An Infection in the Uterus
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Causes

The infection is caused by bacteria. It can be passed to the baby.

Risk Factors

Young women are at greater risk. The risk is also higher for women who:

Symptoms

Some women may not have problems. Women who do have problems may have:

  • A high fever
  • A belly that is tender to the touch
  • Odor and discharge from the vagina

Diagnosis

The infection may be diagnosed based on the symptoms.

Testing may not be done when the infection is found during labor. However, the diagnosis may be confirmed with:

  • Blood tests
  • Amniocentesis—amniotic fluid samples
  • Biopsy—tissue samples from around the baby

Treatment

The baby will need to be delivered right away. A cesarean section may be needed if:

IV antibiotics are given to fight the infection. A baby with the infection will also need them.

Prevention

Your doctor will avoid vaginal exams during later stages of pregnancy or after your water breaks. Antibiotics may be given to some women.

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